Two weeks ago, the Federal Government increased the pump price of fuel to N160 per litre only after a similar act last month, and approved the suspended increase in electricity tariff to N66 per kwh. But controversy has continued to trail the development, with majority of the citizenry saying this development will worsen the biting hardship being faced by Nigerians, who are allegedly already impoverished and overburdened by imposed high cost of living. PAT OKPISA brings you the views of some Nigerians.
The implementation of this new price regimes of PMS and Electricity tarrif which I consider very essential commodity/service is wrong. This is so because, the government is seemingly insensitive to the plight of the average Nigerian who is still grappling with the effect of global economic lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A lot of Nigerians have lost their means of livelihood, job losses, businesses closed down etc. yet we are faced with increase in price of petrol and electricity tariff by almost 100% from the old price. So this has seriously inflicted a lot more of hardship on Nigerians. As you will agree with me that the pump price determines the prices of other goods and services in the economy ranging from transportation of food items from the rural areas to the urban centers and in effect price of commuting also increases and prices of food also surge yet minimum wage remains N30,000 which is even yet to be implemented in many states of the federation. Inarguably, there has been a continued call for the total removal of the petrol subsidy from the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy as this will amount to saving almost about N500b – N1trn of hard earned Nigerian tax payers money to fund the provision in the federal budget if fully implemented and judiciously applied.
However, I think government should have at least been a bit responsive to the plights of the Nigerian populace and comply with the Senate’s call on the NERC to suspend the introduction of the new electricity tariff to first quarter of next year 2021. Conclusively, I will want to lend my voice to that of other Nigerians who are calling for either an outright reversal or suspension of the new price regime and revert to the old rate for the electricity tariffs and also appeal to the govt that PPPRA rises up to its responsibility as the regulator to avoid a situation where Petrol marketers will continue to exploit Nigerians and arbitrarily increase price immediately the ex-depot price goes up due to the increase in global crude price but will not effect the change that is required of them in the event of a downward trend if the ex-depot price goes downwards.” ODIACHI FELIX, KSM
“ I think Nigerians deserve a better treatment than all that befall the citizen of our great country Nigeria. The issue of Fuel and Electricity tariff increase is wrongly planned. The economy is at the lowest level. The COVID19 pandemic is still very present with us. How do those in charge of affairs feel in their inner most conscience to have slammed it to the face of the entire citizen. The situation is like the thief steals and armed robber collects the looting. This increase is wrongly planned and executed. Let the increase be reverted as palliative to all citizens. I believe that this is not the next level the ruling party is taking Nigeria to. Suffering should not come to the people through our government. God bless Nigeria.” PRINCE EYEOWA JOSEPH
“The recent increase of petrol and Electricity Tariff shows that our leaders are insensitive to the sufferings and hardship the citizens of Nigerians are facing at this point in time. We are just easing out a situation that the Covid-19 virus has put us in and is still putting because a lot of businesses have not kicked off and so much loss of jobs. Importers cannot bring in goods due to the increase in foreign currency. My take is that inflation is on the high side. The government would have taken it step by step.” BARBARA NEGBEJIE
“The recent increase in Premium Pump Price ( Petrol ) and Electricity Tariffs is simply a SCAM and show of Shame to APC’s Government change mantra/ matrix. It is insensitivity to the need of the Masses for their Common good.Nigeria’s post COVID-19 ease should not be more hardship to the masses. Government should reverse the increase in the Tariffs.” CHEMIMUYA CLEMENT
“Deregulation of Petroleum does not necessarily mean its price should increase. But this will stop the unknown use of petroleum subsidy. Increase in Electricity tariff is unjustifiable because there is no increase in consumer electricity usage including its metering.” ENGR.DAFE TIMOTHY
“Characteristically, the government has displayed its uncaring, unthinking and devil-may-care attitude toward the citizenry, whose lives and property it swore, by the Constitution, to protect, in all ramifications! The President even, in a fiat, declared the finality of the act, thus, seemingly, foreclosing any negotiations, as if we still belonged to the aberration of a military interregnum, rather than a Democracy! Unfortunately, the voices of Opposition (Political parties other than the ruling party, CSOs, Labour Unions,opinion moulders, etc) have either been compromised or coerced into oblivion! The masses are, thus, helpless and left to recourse to God for a solution to a mundane issue, sadly! The Government is aware that we are a people afflicted with impulsive amnesia, and that sooner than later, after the initial brouhaha of the ‘euphoria’ displayed by pockets of “disgruntled elements”, we will forget, ascribe the ‘affliction’ to ‘Divine Will’, move on, as if nothing has happened, and await the next “new normal”, and the Cycle goes on! My most favourite quote from The Holy Bible comes in handy here, “Faith without good works is dead” – St. James. God has endowed us with all we require to tackle our issues in this ephemeral space; we should, therefore, refrain from ‘rushing’ to him for everything unspiritual! We all sure know what to do, but our Comfort Zones deter us therefrom!” BABAJIDE AJISAFE